JK utilised only 10% of money released for Jhelum flood management
Srinagar, Aug 26: The state has spent only 10 per cent of the funds released for comprehensive flood management of the river Jhelum and its tributaries.
In 2015, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced Rs 80,000 crore development package for Jammu and Kashmir, of which Rs 2100 crore were earmarked for comprehensive flood management of River Jhelum.
Three years down the line, JK government has spent just 10 percent amounting to meagre Rs 196 crore of the allocated funds.
“So far, only Rs 196 crore have been spent, of which Rs 80 crore is compensation component paid to people whose constructions, land were acquired by government along Jhelum,” said a senior government official.
Official data accessed by The Kashmir Monitor reveals that Rs 2083 were sanctioned under PMDP for restoration of river Jhelum. It was divided in two phases. In phase 1, Rs 399 crore were sanctioned of which Centre’s share was Rs 280 crore, while as state had to bear Rs 119 crore. Under this phase Rs 196 crore have been spent.
For Phase-II of the project, Rs 1,684.60 crore, state government is yet to finalize detailed project report for seeking funds from the centre government.
This phase includes assistance of Rs 1,179.22 crore and state share of Rs 505.38 crore.
Chief Engineer Irrigation and Flood Control department, M M Shahnawaz confirmed to The Kashmir Monitor that DPR for second phase is yet to be finalized.
The DPR has not been made yet and now we have set the deadline for its completion by ending September,” he said.
On being asked about the phase 1, he said Rs 196 crore have been utilized for carrying restoration works on River Jhelum.
Funds were meant to improve the Jhelum’s water carrying capacity “to its maximum capacity of 60,000 cusecs [cubic feet per second] in South Kashmir”.
In Srinagar, this capacity is to be increased to 35,000 cusecs. The remaining 25,000 cusecs is to be diverted through the flood spill channel, whose discharge capacity is also proposed to be increased.
The part of plan was to construct water storage on tributaries of the Jhelum and supplementary flood spill channels. The flood monitoring system of the Jhelum basin would be upgraded “by installing automatic water level recorders, automatic discharge recorders and automatic weather stations etc,” said an official.
A parliamentary standing committee had in its report submitted in April this year had said the progress on implementing the Prime Minister’s development package was slow and a “poor outcome” had been achieved in the past 12 months.
“Observing this pattern of poor outcome in the past 12 months, the committee recommends that the ministry of home affairs intensify efforts to achieve measurable outcome under the PM’s development package by speeding up the work in the upcoming fiscal and implement all the projects at the earliest,” the panel had said.